The 2018 Lorna Strassler Award

Ariel Triunfo, 2018 Lorna Strassler Award Winner; photo Noor Eemaan

Each spring, dancers from all across the United States and abroad apply to study at The School at Jacob’s Pillow. Our Alumni embark on distinguished careers with companies including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Batsheva – The Young Ensemble, Limón Dance Company, and The Lion King Broadway, among many others. What many may not know is that each year one lucky program dancer is awarded the Lorna Strassler Award for Student Excellence.

Founded in 2004 by former Jacob’s Pillow Trustee, Lorna Strassler and her husband, this prize includes a full program scholarship to The School as well as a $2,500 cash prize. Each Lorna Strassler Award recipient is selected based on their excellent performance skills and unwavering dedication to the arts.

Past Recipients include:

  • 2017: Madison Embrey (Musical Theatre Dance) New York City freelance performer & SAG-AFTRA member
  • 2016: Eoin Robinson (Ballet & Contemporary), Staatsballett Berlin
  • 2015: Therese Davis (Ballet), Pennsylvania Ballet
  • 2014: Amber Pickens (Contemporary), founder of a live cast talk show, Kickback & Chat with Amber Pickens, and a non-profit, Art Belongs to the People, and ensemble performer for Muny’s The Wiz and Savion Glover’s Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope
  • 2013: Samantha Barriento (Contemporary), Ailey II
  • 2012: Theresa J. Murray (Jazz/Musical Theatre), Actor’s Equity Association Member, American Guild of Variety Artists Member, Disneyland Resort Performer, performer in Denver Center for the Performing Arts’ production of Oklahoma!, and West Coast-based freelance dancer, actress, and singer
  • 2011: Craig Black (Contemporary), Hubbard Street Dance Chicago
  • 2010: Calvin Royal III (Ballet), soloist, American Ballet Theatre
Lorna Strassler Awardee, Ariel Triunfo; photo unknown

The School at Jacob’s Pillow is excited to welcome the 2018 Lorna Strassler Award Winner, Musical Theatre Dance Program performer Ariel Triunfointo this esteemed cohort of alumni. Prior to beginning her studies in musical theatre, Triunfo danced professionally with Nevada Ballet Theatre and performed in many well-known ballets. As a junior musical theatre student at Columbia College Chicago, she has already choreographed new works on artists of Nevada Ballet Theatre, Cirque du Soleil, and students of Santa Fe University of Art and Design’s MODAS Dance Training and Columbia College Chicago’s Musical Theatre programs. When asked about her future, Triunfo confidently expresses her aspirations as a choreographer and playwright.

Congratulations Ariel, we look forward to celebrating more success with you in the future!